Solitaire

And Solitaire's the only game in town / And every road that takes him, takes him down… / … While life goes on around him everywhere / He's playing Solitaire

Solitaire. It's a game they play here on Earth. No, not the one with the cards, there's another one that's played with an arrangement of pegs or counters where the object of the game is to try and eliminate as many pieces as possible by cutting over them, until there's only one piece left. It's a game played by only one person, hence Solitaire.

I guess I could say that most of my life has been nothing but one big game of Solitaire. Yes, I may have lived without wants for a very long while. I was, after all, a part of Iacon's elite. I went where I wanted, did what I wanted, be it hunting turbo foxes or playing in the Iaconian Polo League. I was rich, and I was happy.

Or was I?

The Earthlings have this saying 'Money cant buy happiness', which tends to strike a chord with me more than some would realize. Everyone seems to think I had it all. Everyone thought wrong. There was one thing I never had.

I never had a real friend.

For as long as I can remember, I've been alone. I don't know whether my creator thought it'd be funny to program me as something of a loner, but there it was, and there it still is. Oh I've had a lot of acquaintances – my team-mates in the Polo League, the members of my hunting party – but they were not what one would call friends. They were not bots I could confide in, or share my hopes and dreams with.

Not like a friend.

I've tried to have them, and there were a few mechs and femmes that I would like to think were my friends, we got along splendidly. But eventually there was always something that would break us apart. Some left to pursue their own goals and dreams elsewhere, others simply changed and drifted away. In either case, it seemed as if I was the one always being left behind. And I hated it.

And all of this was before the war.

Come to think of it, this blasted war may have served to set my feet in some direction. I lost everything I had to it, but it pointed me to the Autobots. So now here I am, an Autobot amongst Autobots, a spy with powers of invisibility.

Sometimes I think I must be Primus' idea of a joke.

I was so naïve. I thought I'd finally have a purpose here with them, and now that purpose seems sketchy at best. I thought I'd be able to make some new friends, real friends. I thought I'd find myself a part of a close-knit group of soldiers all fighting for a common goal, a common good. I thought wrong.

I feel more alone here sometimes than I ever did on Cybertron. Sometimes I find myself wishing I could make myself permanently invisible.

At least on Cybertron I had money and material things to fall back on. Here I have nothing. Its no secret that a lot of the Autobots don't like me. Many of them are suspicious of me, some even think that one day I'll sell them out. Sometimes I think I should, but I wont. A majority of these Autobots may be a bunch of uncultured mechs, but there are some decent folks among them. Jazz, Prowl, Hound, even the Twins. They've all been fairly nice to me.

But they'll never be anything more to me than acquaintances.

Mainly because they already seem to have such close-knit friendships that I feel it wrong of me to intrude or impose myself on them. Hound shares a firm friendship with Trailbreaker, much of it based on their mutual love of the Earthen wilderness and its organic beauty, something quite unlike Cybertron, and something I could never find myself liking.

Jazz seems to be everyone's friend, he's well liked and treats everyone the way they like to be treated, and he seems to like Prowl especially. What's funny is that Prowl reciprocates. The whole thing intrigues me somewhat since the two of them are virtually polar opposites, yet I can sense a strong bond between them that maybe a bit stronger than just friendship, but that I'm afraid is beyond my understanding.

I suppose if there was anyone else here that I could relate to in terms of being ostracized, I guess I could say Sunstreaker, but even he has his brother. Sideswipe would love him no matter what he did, and he would never leave him alone if he could help it. Sideswipe's a little like Jazz in that most mechs seem to like him too. The only difference is that if you get on his bad side, he will hunt you down and make you suffer for it.

I should stop making these excuses, and I should really stop trying to fool myself.

Because there is a part of me that is afraid. Yes, I am afraid. I fear to be friends with these Autobots incase I wake up one day and find them gone – just like my friends before them – and me alone and left behind again. At least, I figure, if I keep them at a distance, and don't let them get too close, they'll still be here. I'll still have them to watch and envy from afar.

So you see, my life really is a game of Solitaire. The closer I get, the more chances there are of someone being cut and eliminated from me, one by one, till at last there's only me left.

And then the game begins all over again.